Focus Factor Reviews: Do these brain supplements work?

Find out whether these supplements can improve your brain health and unlock better thinking, clarity, and memory skills.

Last updated: Dec 13th, 2023
Focus Factor reviews

“Smart drugs” have been on the market for decades and continue to get more popular despite being a hotly disputed topic amongst the scientific community. After all, can a pill full of vitamins and botanicals meaningfully improve your memory, focus, and learning abilities? Focus Factor has been producing dietary supplements to enhance cognitive health for over 25 years, suggesting that nootropics may be more than a passing fad. We delved into the company, its products, and the science behind them to help you understand whether or not these nootropics work.

Our Findings

Editor's Rating3.00

Focus Factor’s Original and Brain & Vision formulas are the only ones that may be worth your time if you’re looking for nootropic support. Every formula’s major nootropic ingredients are shuttered behind a proprietary blend, and there’s no way to compensate for the fact that its safety profiles hinge on one self-funded clinical study of the Original formula, not regular quality checks. Despite these concerns, our testers found that Focus Factor Original slightly improved their clarity, focus, and memory over several weeks with few side effects. If you’re looking for a low-priced nootropic to test the waters and you aren’t pregnant or trying to be, Focus Factor could be a good option.


  • Extremely inexpensive compared to other nootropics
  • Original formula was clinically tested with significant positive findings
  • Most forms are uncaffeinated
  • Vitamin and mineral content supports overall health like a multivitamin
  • One of the few nootropic companies to offer children’s products
  • Wide variety of forms and formulas to choose from
  • Gluten- and dairy-free
  • Can combine subscriptions and bundling deals to save more than 20%


  • Not all formulas are safe for pregnant people
  • No quality testing performed
  • Most nootropic ingredients don’t have much supporting research
  • Dosage information obscured for almost all nootropic ingredients
  • No returns unless your order is faulty
  • Companion app requires a paid subscription
  • Long-term safety of some ingredients is unknown

Purchase options

You can buy Focus Factor through the company's website or its Amazon store, though some Focus Factor products are not available as a subscription through Amazon, including the original formula. Focus Factor's one-time purchase prices are all either identical to or less than the company's prices on Amazon. However, most of those differences are less than the $7 shipping charge at if you spend less than $50. That's enough to make Amazon recommendable to people interested in subscribing to just one or two low-cost products if those products have subscriptions to offer. But in all other cases, it's best to buy directly.

Table of Contents

In this Review

Why you should trust us

As nootropics have emerged as a new key player in the supplement landscape, we’ve invested serious time to determine which products are worth your consideration. We’ve spent hundreds of hours researching and testing various nootropics, including individual ingredients and combinations like Focus Factor. Over the course of our nootropic studies, including researching Focus Factor for this review, we’ve read over 300 clinical studies examining the safety and efficacy of various nootropic ingredients. To get a first-hand look and feel for the supplement, we ordered and tested Focus Factor ourselves, meaning we’re speaking from experience as well. Our testing experiences with other nootropics will also provide added context to our knowledge and expertise for this review.

Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy. To keep things up to date, we monitor Focus Factor and update this page as information changes.

Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions about staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.

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How we evaluated Focus Factor

Nootropics can be complicated to compare, especially when they all make the same claims, but it shouldn’t take a neurosurgeon to understand nootropics. To help you parse what makes a nootropic better (or worse) than others, we judge them on four straightforward criteria:

  • How well they work
  • How much they cost
  • How safe they are
  • How easy they are to use

Above all else, effectiveness is key for a nootropic: no matter how safe it is, it’s not worth spending money on if it doesn’t work. Likewise, we tend to rate safety slightly more than cost, as your brain is an important yet delicate organ that is critical to keep undamaged. To give you the fullest interpretation of its value, we tested Focus Factor as recommended for four weeks while using its accompanying app daily.

Focus Factor is a decent nootropic that works best for those who need a multivitamin for extra vigor (such as those with a poor diet or nutrient deficiencies). You’ll pay half as much as its closest competitor for a small bottle, but half of its ingredients are hidden within a proprietary blend. The company has run into legal trouble about how it advertises its efficacy, and Focus Factor sinks all of its safety data into one self-funded study. Still, our testers found a noticeable increase in clarity, focus, and memory while taking it.


Rating: 7 / 10

Focus Factor has been around since 1997, but it’s run into several legal troubles in its decades-long lifespan, repeatedly inflating the company’s efficacy claims or lying about sales numbers or how quickly you could see results. With these recurring concerns about how Focus Factor markets its effectiveness, we wanted to get to the bottom of things by trying them ourselves.

Our testers found that Focus Factor provided a little bit of an increase in memory, focus, and mental clarity within four weeks. Clarity set in first — after just a few days — and was the most pronounced. Focus increased after that, and our testers experienced modest memory improvements later in their regimen. These aren’t miracle pills that will make you a genius millionaire overnight. But it seems to have a positive effect for some.

A self-funded study showed that Focus Factor Original improved participants’ attention and working memory on one test in six weeks. Other studies on individual ingredients show some promise. For the most part, the formulas lack the overwhelming scientific evidence necessary to state that Focus Factor supports your brain health. And most importantly, outside the severely underdosed proprietary blends, you likely won’t feel anything from Focus Factor if you’re already taking a multivitamin or eating a healthy, balanced diet.


Rating: 9 / 10

Focus Factor is surprisingly inexpensive. Consider the difference in price between one 150-count (about 37-serving) bottle of Focus Factor Original and its closest competitors:

Cost per containerCost per servingBulk or subscription savings?
Focus Factor$22$0.59Both
Alpha BRAIN$35$2.33Subscription
Mind Lab Pro$69$2.30Bulk
Qualia Mind$139$6.32Subscription

Even at its most expensive, Focus Factor costs less than half of the next least expensive competitor, Noocube. And considering Focus Factor is the only company that offers both bulk and subscription savings, dropping your daily price to less than a dollar, it’s a fantastic deal for someone who doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room in their budget but wants to try a nootropic.

You’ll have to pay for shipping for orders less than $50. While we’re glad that Focus Factor added this offer since we last reviewed them, there’s still a significant chance you’ll have to pay for shipping, which can be expensive. If you only order one bottle (no matter how many servings it contains), you’ll have to pay $6.95 for 5-7 day shipping. And the company doesn’t accept returns or refunds in almost all situations, so be sure you want to commit before ordering.


Rating: 5 / 10

Focus Factor looks safe at the outset, but several minor issues quickly add up. It misses common safety features shared by most reputable supplement manufacturers; the company doesn’t use (or publicly share) third-party or in-house quality testing, and its formulas use a proprietary blend to obscure how much of its nootropic ingredients are in each serving.

One of the ingredients in this proprietary blend is vinpocetine. This synthetic ingredient has been called out by the FDA several times, including once in 2016 (where it stated that vinpocetine doesn’t meet the definition of a dietary ingredient), and again in 2019 when studies found that vinpocetine can harm fetal development and cause miscarriages. Focus Factor comments on this in the fine text, but there isn’t any obvious warning about vinpocetine for those who are pregnant, lactating, or who are trying to conceive. Other nootropics that once contained vinpocetine, such as Mind Lab Pro, quickly removed it from its formulas after the 2016 notice.

Focus Factor doesn’t use any third-party or in-house quality control testing — or, if the company does, it chose not to make that information public. When we asked the customer service team, our testers were just sent to the scientific study without context. We expect regular testing (for potency, purity, heavy metals, pathogens, and overall quality) from any reasonable supplement manufacturer, as it ensures that what is displayed on the label is what you’re consuming. We don’t often see reputable small brands obscure this information. The fact that there’s no information about it either on its website or available via a customer service representative is unimpressive and doesn’t encourage trust.


Rating: 7 / 10

There are several ways to take Focus Factor, which gives them a serious edge over its competitors. Unlike most nootropics, which tend to be exclusively a small handful of 4-7 capsules, Focus Factor also comes in the following forms:

  • Gummies
  • Chewable tablets (for kids)
  • Powders
  • Premixed drinks

Of course, these forms aren’t really interchangeable. The premixed drinks are energy boosters closer to a 5-Hour Energy shot than a nootropic. Gummies aren’t often the best way to take vitamins either, as research has shown that most gummies don’t actually contain what it claims to; gummies are also harder to digest, are more likely to be dosed unevenly, and generally lack the potency of a capsule. And the powders are formulated like pre-workout supplements, designed more for boosting your muscles than your brainpower. So, while there looks like an endless amount of options you could get from Focus Factor, very few of them overlap.

Ultimately, Focus Factor requires you to take four capsules a day with meals, though you can take up to eight daily. We appreciate the options to increase the strength (to Extra Strength or Max Strength) because it means you won’t have to take more capsules and purchase more bottles like other nootropics. And its lack of caffeine means you can take it any time of day, not just first thing in the morning like Qualia Mind or Alpha BRAIN.

What is Focus Factor?

Focus Factor is the name of both a few lines of vitamin, nutritional, and nootropic supplements and the company that creates them, which was founded in 1997. It is a subsidiary of Synergy CHC, which owns several health and beauty companies like Flat Tummy Tea.

Most of what Focus Factor creates are nootropic supplements. Nootropics, also called “cognitive enhancers” or “smart drugs,” are natural and synthetic compounds that can impact your mental skills. This includes everything from your everyday cup of coffee, which can assist with short-term memory and learning via caffeine, to L-theanine and creatine monohydrate, which have been studied for the abilities to improve focus and attention, respectively.

The audience for nootropic supplements is also wide-ranging, from students hoping to improve test scores to older individuals facing brain fog and cognitive decline. However, you should note that nootropic supplements have not shown an ability to affect Alzheimer’s disease or age-related dementia. While many nootropic supplements and individual ingredients are under investigation in dementia-related studies, the FDA is yet to approve any as prescription nootropics.

In fact, Focus Factor has been in trouble now not once but twice over false marketing claims. The first occurred in 2004, when Focus Factor and its previous owners, Creative Health Institute, had to pay $1 million to the FTC because of the company’s “unsubstantiated claims about Focus Factor’s ability to improve users focus, memory, mood, and concentration.” These claims included:

  • Improving the focus, memory, and concentration of healthy adults
  • Alleviating stress and combating fatigue, irritability, and mood swings
  • Making children and teenagers feel more alert, focused, and mentally sharp
  • Improving students’ ability to concentrate and their academic performance
  • Improving memory, mental clarity, and energy in the elderly
  • Improving adults’ ability to absorb information in books and recall facts, figures, and names

To top it all off, Focus Factor claimed that these effects would occur in 1-10 days. (The 2011 clinical study found some of these results occurred in six weeks.)

In 2020, the company had to change its advertising, which previously stated Focus Factor was the “#1 Brain Health Supplement” and “America’s #1 Clinically Studied and Patented Brain Health Formula.” Focus Factor lacked the clinical data and sales to prove those claims — meaning it was neither the best-selling nootropic nor the best for your health. As we move forward to analyze Focus Factor’s present day, it’s important to keep these two concerns in mind, as it gives us context and reason to be a little bit skeptical of its claims.

What does Focus Factor make?

Focus Factor offers several different product lines with separate specialties:

  • Focus Factor Original, Extra Strength, and Max Strength
  • Focus Factor Brain and Vision
  • Calm Focus Gummies
  • Elderberry Immunity Gummies
  • Focus Factor Gummies
  • F29 Focus + Energy Drinks (original, berry, and orange flavors)
  • F29 Focus + Energy Shots (mixed berry, grape, and blue razz flavors)
  • Focus Factor Kids: Chewables and Extra Strength Chewables
  • Focus Factor Nootropics: Pro Max, Sports Pre-Workout, and Gaming Drink Mix

It also offers an app, called Brain Hub, to help you get a cognitive workout with memory and thinking games and put your nootropics to use. We’ll mostly focus on Focus Factor Original in this article but will discuss some of the benefits and specifics of these other products.

Focus Factor makes some of the most allergy-friendly nootropics available. Most of the supplements don’t include:

  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Nuts
  • Artificial colors
  • Preservatives

How does Focus Factor work?

Focus Factor uses a combination of essential nutrients and a proprietary blend of different nootropic compounds in its formulas. While there’s no doubt that many of these ingredients have performed well in clinical studies, many people respond differently to different nootropics. Using so many at once makes it difficult to know what is affecting you and in what way.

Here’s a complete list of the nootropics Focus Factor uses in its Original formula’s proprietary blend:

Dimethylaminoethanol (as DMAE bitartrate)

DMAE is an antioxidant commonly used in topical skincare that can also increase the amount of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays a big role in muscle movement, learning, attention, and memory. There are surprisingly few studies on DMAE, but it used to be sold as a prescription medication called Deanol in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was marketed as an alternative to ADHD medication based on one 1975 study, but was pulled in the 1980s for a lack of scientific evidence supporting its safe use. Today, it’s widely used in supplements, but there’s still very little scientific evidence to support its use.


Glutamine is the most common amino acid in your body, mostly stored and used by your muscles and lungs. For the most part, it’s used in pre- and post-workout supplements. One 2020 literature review suggests that glutamine supplementation might improve the mood and focus of people who suffer from hypoxia (a lack of oxygen to the brain), but there are almost no clinical studies on glutamine’s impact in the brain.

Bacopin® (​Bacopa monnieri​ extract; whole plant)

Bacopa monnieri is a plant that’s been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to improve memory. This botanical is well-studied compared to most nootropics, but there’s still a lot of long-term safety research to be done. For now, studies are split, but about half suggest that Bacopa extract could improve your memory and attention.

L-Pyroglutamic acid

Pyroglutamic acid is an amino acid that comes from glutamine, but scientists don’t know much about it. Even in 2012, researchers reported on it as a “poorly understood” substance. A small handful of studies from the 1980s and 1990s, backed up by one 2015 study, suggest that pyroglutamic acid may interact with glutamine and theanine to increase GABA levels in the brain, which promotes a sense of calm.


Phosphatidylserine is a fat used to create the waxy external coating around our neurons’ axons, called the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath allows impulses to travel quickly and effectively; diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS) occur when we don’t have enough myelin. Phosphatidylserine is well-studied, and scientists are generally in agreement that it can improve some symptoms of cognitive decline, including those in Alzheimer’s disease (especially for those with very mild cases). Most of these studies use about 300mg of phosphatidylserine.

Docosahexaenoic acid concentrate (DHA, from anchovy, sardine, and salmon oil)

DHA is one of two primary omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats we all need for proper eye, heart, and joint health, as well as fetal development. DHA can help your brain grow additional structures that support neuronal communication. Everyone needs at least 500mg of omega-3 fatty acids daily, but most people are seriously deficient from a lack of fish consumption, so anything helps.


Once considered a B vitamin, this compound improves our body’s glucose use (decreasing insulin sensitivity), particularly in people who have hormonal disorders like polycystic ovarian syndrome. Some people believe that, at high doses, inositol can improve anxiety disorders like OCD and panic attacks. However, a 2014 meta-analysis found that it marginally improves depression and PMDD symptoms, but even at high doses of 12-18g of inositol daily (about 20 times more than the entire Focus Factor proprietary blend), it didn’t seem to improve much else.

N-acetyl L-tyrosine (NALT)

NALT is a kind of tyrosine that’s supposed to be easier for your body to use because it’s water-soluble, but researchers aren’t sure if that’s actually true. Either way, tyrosine is a useful amino acid that is used to build dopamine and norepinephrine, two of the most commonly known neurotransmitters that control everything from a fight-or-flight response to how much pleasure you experience from a bar of chocolate. Studies have shown that your brain consumes dopamine and norepinephrine quickly under stressful conditions when tyrosine supplementation can improve your cognitive flexibility and short-term memory.

Bilberry fruit standardized extract

Researchers think bilberry extract may have a few benefits for our health because it’s one of the richest sources of the potent antioxidant called anthocyanosides. (Focus Factor’s extract is 25% anthocyanosides which is relatively strong, for example.) Anthocyanosides make berries blue and purple, and it seems like anthocyanosides could improve the outcomes of patients at high risk of developing metabolic syndrome or heart diseases. It might protect your eyes (specifically your retinas) from long-term damage or damage from blue lights, but more research is still necessary.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)

GABA is one of the most important neurotransmitters in our body. It’s the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter, meaning it decreases the likelihood of a neurotransmitter setting off an action potential across your entire brain. It’s implicated in dozens of natural processes, including anxiety disorders and memory to epilepsy and even cancer. For a long time, researchers thought that taking GABA supplements wouldn’t help you because it couldn’t cross the blood-brain barrier, but new research suggests it may enter through your enteric nervous system in the gut. Slow reaction times seem to be linked to low GABA levels, as is temporal (time-related) visual attention. On the other hand, having a lot of GABA seems to make it more difficult to change tasks, which can be a positive when you need to get into the groove.

Grape skin and grape seed extract

Grapes are exceptionally good for you, especially fermented as wine, and most benefits are concentrated in the skin and seeds. The fruit has been long studied for its health benefits, which mostly include neutralizing free radicals with many antioxidants and polyphenols. By keeping free radicals to a minimum, grape skin and seed extract can diminish oxidative stress, which damages brain cells (sometimes to the point of death).


This alkaloid has been used in some European countries as a prescription treatment for stroke and dementia patients for more than 30 years, and it seems to have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects. Some studies argue that vinpocetine is safe, but the FDA ruled that its teratogenic effects (its potential for causing congenital disorders in a fetus) can’t be ignored.

Trace-Lyte electrolyte concentrate

Electrolytes help your body regulate fluid balance between your cells and can improve dehydration. There’s no way to tell what this branded concentrate contains, but it likely includes minerals like calcium, chloride, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. Dehydration can, in extreme situations, cause some confusion or irritability, but only in pretty extreme situations.

Huperzine A (extract of ​Hupezia serrata​; aerial parts)

Huperzine A is an extremely potent nootropic. It blocks the enzyme that stops the movement of acetylcholine (acetylcholinesterase), meaning that your neurons can put out and receive more acetylcholine. Studies consistently show that it has both neuroprotective and anti-epileptic effects. However, having too much acetylcholine can result in unpleasant — and occasionally fatal — symptoms, but there isn’t enough huperzine A in Focus Factor to cause that. Currently, researchers are studying its potential as an Alzheimer’s medication.

Boron (as boron citrate)

Boron is a trace element that you’ll commonly find in multivitamins. There isn’t overwhelming scientific evidence that’s established what a boron deficiency looks like, nor what it necessarily does in our bodies, but the World Health Organization suggests that not having enough boron can decrease your calcium and vitamin D levels. Studies into its effects on the brain have slowed since the late 1990s, but suggested at one point that those with low dietary boron consumption had a harder time with hand-eye coordination, visual perception, and both short- and long-term memory.

Vanadium (as vanadyl sulfate)

Like boron, vanadium is a trace element you’ve likely ingested through a multivitamin that may or may not do anything for our bodies. Most research on vanadium has centered on lowering insulin sensitivity, but the doses used in those studies were significantly more than the tolerable upper limit, which may cause more harm than good. Recently, more studies have started looking at vanadium’s impacts on our brains. Most of those state that having too much of it harms our brains and thinking capacities, but one 2020 study suggests that vanadium might improve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease by keeping the brain from making too many harmful amyloid-beta peptides.

These nootropics come in one proprietary blend. Proprietary blends take a group of ingredients and lump them together under one dose, meaning that the amount of each specific ingredient in one serving is obscured. This makes it extremely difficult to determine whether or not there are safe (or effective) amounts of each ingredient present. Focus Factor’s proprietary blend contains all of its nootropic ingredients (except choline). So, while we know that there’s 640mg of nootropic ingredients in the Original formula, we don’t know much else.

Focus Factor also contains a multivitamin’s worth of essential vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin A: 1,200mcg
  • Vitamin C: 250mg
  • Vitamin D: 2.5mcg
  • Vitamin E: 20.1mg
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1): 3mg
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 1.7mg
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3): 25mg
  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5): 12mg
  • Vitamin B6: 15mg
  • Biotin (Vitamin B7): 300mcg
  • Folate (Vitamin B9): 665mcg
  • Vitamin B12: 20mcg
  • Choline: 30mg
  • Calcium: 50mg
  • Iron: 5mg
  • Iodine: 15mcg
  • Magnesium: 100mg
  • Zinc: 10mg
  • Selenium: 50mcg
  • Copper: 0.4mg
  • Manganese: 2mg
  • Chromium: 100mcg
  • Molybdenum: 10mcg
  • Potassium: 50mg

All of these vitamins and minerals are good to have, especially as many people are deficient in one or more of these essential nutrients, but it won’t offer you any more brain support than a standard multivitamin. If that’s something you’re already taking, the only thing you might get from Focus Factor is the potentially subtler effects of its nootropic blend.

However, choline is called out as its own ingredient aside from the nootropic blend. Choline is a potent nootropic substance, as it’s a direct precursor to acetylcholine. Once known as vitamin B4, choline as a supplement can increase both acetylcholine and phosphatidylcholine levels. It helps everything from your liver (through fat breakdown) to protecting a developing fetus from marijuana during pregnancy. We need to get most choline — about 500mg, depending on your age — from our diets, but Focus Factor only gives you 5mg. Like most of the formula, it’s ultimately just a drop in the bucket.

How do you take Focus Factor?

The Focus Factor regimen is pretty straightforward. For most versions, you take four pills daily: two with a morning meal and two with an evening meal. You can take all four at once, but you increase the risk of mild digestive discomfort. Our testers kept to the split program, taking two with breakfast and another two with dinner, for four weeks and reported no adverse reactions. If you don’t feel anything from four pills, Focus Factor states that you can take up to eight pills daily, but we recommend starting with four first.

Focus Factor Original: clinical study

In 2011, Focus Factor funded and received a clinical study of Focus Factor’s original formula. This study was double-blind and placebo-controlled, which is more than can be said about other supplements. Two other prominent nootropics have been studied under similar circumstances: Onnit’s Alpha BRAIN, which was analyzed in two different studies by consultants with slim results, and Mind Lab Pro, which performed well across multiple different cognitive tests.

Focus Factor’s study used the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) to measure recall. Essentially, the test asks participants to listen to a set number of words and then try to recall them — in order, if possible — at several points in time afterward. The research team repeated the RAVLT before and after participants took Focus Factor for six weeks. As noted in the study itself, it’s designed like many studies that test Bacopa monnieri extract’s efficacy. However, the RAVLT is relatively limited: cognition is more than just attention and recall ability, and we don’t have any clinical evidence yet that Focus Factor can improve those qualities.

According to this study, Focus Factor can improve your working memory and information processing speed. People who took Focus Factor were able to remember more words than those who didn’t (increasing their averages by 6.5 and 4.5 words, respectively). It’s safe to say that you’ll likely need six weeks to experience the full effects of Focus Factor with regular daily use.

Plus, no one reported any serious side effects while taking Focus Factor; more people taking the placebo had concerns than those taking Focus Factor.

Is Focus Factor safe?

Focus Factor is generally safe for most healthy adults as long as you’re not pregnant, lactating, or trying to conceive. It’s hard to make many firm safety recommendations about this supplement because its proprietary blend obscures so much of its dosage information, but since it’s closer to a moderately-dosed multivitamin, any areas of concern stem from the proprietary blend. It’s unlikely that any ingredients are present in high enough doses to cause harm if you don’t have health concerns or take medications.

There’s a chance you could develop stomach discomfort (bloating, upset stomach, and nausea) or headaches when you first start taking Focus Factor, but this should go away as your body adjusts to its ingredients. If it doesn’t, discontinue Focus Factor and reach out to your doctor. However, the clinical study found Focus Factor was better-tolerated than a sugar pill placebo.

A big downside to Focus Factor is that the company doesn’t appear to do any quality control testing. There are no mentions of either in-house or independent third-party testing on its website, and contacting customer support led nowhere. If Focus Factor does any of this testing, then the company doesn’t want customers to know about it. This is not great from a safety perspective. After all, quality testing ensures that there are no issues with a given formula, including everything from mismatched doses to pathogens or heavy metals.

Who shouldn’t take Focus Factor?

First and foremost, people who are pregnant or want to be pregnant should not take Focus Factor under any circumstances. Multiple ingredients, including vinpocetine and DMAE, are under investigation for causing miscarriages and birth defects.

Despite being very allergy-friendly, many Focus Factor products use phosphatidylcholine made from soy. Likewise, Focus Factor uses fish oil (from anchovies, sardines, and salmon) as a source of DHA, so it isn’t a good idea to take Focus Factor if you’re vegetarian, vegan, or have a fish or soy allergy.

Many nootropics interact poorly with psychiatric and neurological medications, including common antidepressants like SSRIs and MAOIs. If you take any medication for a psychiatric or neurological disorder, it’s not a good idea to take Focus Factor. Likewise, it’s unwise to mix Focus Factor and the following medications:

  • Blood thinners like warfarin
  • Levodopa (L-Dopa)
  • Insulin or diabetes medication

Focus Factor may also interact poorly with medications for the following disorders:

  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Heart problems (especially if you have bradycardia, a slow heart rate)
  • Ulcers
  • Lung conditions like asthma and COPD
  • Diabetes
  • GI blockages or stomach ulcers
  • Urinary tract blockages

Children can take Focus Factor because of its line of chewable supplements explicitly designed for kids and teens. However, those under 18 shouldn’t take the other formulas, including gummies and Focus Factor Original.

Focus Factor is a supplement, not a medication. It’s not meant to be a cure, treatment, or preventative of any serious health problem, nor should it be used to diagnose any cognitive concerns you have.

Focus Factor products

Focus Factor has a surprisingly large catalog that continues to expand. Since we last reviewed Focus Factor in May 2022, the company has added three products under a new umbrella called Focus Factor Nootropics — an intriguing distinction from its standard supplements — as well as a new variation on Focus Factor Original and a new gummy for stress relief.

Below, we’ll discuss each of the major product categories in a little more detail.

Focus Factor Original, Extra Strength, and Max Strength

Focus factor Original

Photo by Innerbody Research

Focus Factor Original is the company’s central offering and the product that features in its clinical study. It contains 640mg of the standard nootropic proprietary blend and a range of multivitamin ingredients. One serving is four hard tablets daily, though you can safely take up to eight, depending on your weight, diet, activity level, and stress level. (Hard tablets can be difficult for the body to absorb; generally, softgels or capsules, like most nootropics offer, are typically the best ways to get the ingredients into your system.)

If eight tablets of Focus Factor Original still don’t give you the results you want, you may benefit from one of the two stronger formulas, such as Focus Factor Extra Strength or Focus Factor Max Strength.

Focus Factor Extra Strength follows the same formula as the original, with the main difference being that it includes higher doses of certain vital nutrients and nootropic supplements:

  • 50mg more vitamin C
  • 1.5mg more thiamin
  • 3.4mg more riboflavin
  • 10mg less niacin
  • 60mcg more iodine
  • 20mcg more selenium
  • 20mcg more molybdenum
  • 158mg more proprietary blend

The proprietary blend also adds ginkgo biloba extract as its second ingredient. Ginkgo biloba has shown some success in improving memory and Alzheimer’s disease, with a clinical interest in developing it into a pharmaceutical for mild dementia. Unfortunately, extensive studies on humans are typically poor-quality in too-small samples.

The most effective studies use high doses — about 240mg daily — that Focus Factor likely does not include unless it sacrifices large amounts of other ingredients in the blend. Since it’s a proprietary blend, there’s no way to really know. Likewise, there’s no clear evidence that increasing essential vitamins and minerals would lead to greater nootropic — or other health — improvements, especially considering it cut the niacin dose in half.

Focus Factor Max Strength, on the other hand, contains a significantly larger dose of multiple vitamins and minerals:

  • 50mg more vitamin C*
  • 22.5mg more vitamin D (ten times as much as Original)
  • 1.5mg more thiamin*
  • 3.4mg more riboflavin*
  • 5mg more niacin
  • 100mcg (185mg DFE) more folic acid
  • 3mg more pantothenic acid
  • 60mcg more iodine*
  • 20mcg more selenium*
  • 20mcg more molybdenum*
  • 218mg more proprietary blend

Changes noted with an asterisk are the same as the Extra Strength blend. Max Strength also makes several changes to the proprietary blend:

  • Adding ashwagandha extract as its second ingredient (ahead of Ginkgo biloba extract)
  • Adding sodium chloride (table salt)
  • Moving Bacopa monnieri extract further down the list (i.e., using less of it)
  • Separating grape skin and grape seed extract (using less grape skin extract)
  • Removing vinpocetine
  • Removing Trace-Lyte electrolyte concentrate

Replacing the electrolyte concentrate with plain table salt is interesting, as sodium chloride is well-known as an electrolyte. (If you’re hospitalized with dehydration, you’ll be given an IV of sodium chloride solution to quickly and safely rehydrate you, for example.) Since Trace-Lyte is a branded electrolyte concentrate, we don’t know for sure what its ingredients are. The ingredients in other electrolyte concentrates like Trace Minerals and Cymbiotika’s Pure Hydration — which include things like magnesium, chloride, sodium, potassium, and sugar — suggest that it’s a negligible difference from Max Strength’s overall formula.

We’re glad to see vinpocetine removed from the list, and ashwagandha extract has some clear anti-anxiety and stress-reducing benefits that have been repeatedly verified in studies. More importantly, Max Strength changes its form from a hard tablet to a capsule. These are easier for the body to break down, so you’re more likely to get most (or all) of its benefits.

As you can see, the differences between these three bottles are relatively slim. The biggest change you’ll see is between prices and sizes. Extra Strength and Max Strength formulas are only available in 120-count bottles, whereas Focus Factor Original comes in multiple sizes. Here’s a quick breakdown of the cost of a single bottle:

Single bottle3 Pack6 Pack
Original (one-time, 150 tablets)$21.99$62.67$118.75
Original (subscription, 150 tablets)$19.79$56.40$106.88
Extra Strength (one time)$39.99$117.57$230.39
Extra Strength (subscription)$35.99$105.81$207.35
Max Strength (one time)$59.99$170.99$323.99
Max Strength (subscription)$53.99$153.89$291.59

We recommend starting with the original formula for the relatively significant difference in price before trying Extra Strength. Max Strength will likely be your best option if you have significant anxiety concerns or if stress is dominating your life, but may not be as useful if you want to improve your memory.

Focus Factor Brain & Vision

Focus Factor Brain and Vision

Photo by Innerbody Research

Focus Factor Brain & Vision is more precise in its goals than Extra Strength or Max Strength. It aims to improve your eye and brain health by including two extra ingredients: lutein (15mg) and zeaxanthin (4mg). The two compounds are carotenoids that work together to improve eye health.

Lutein — which is different from the reproductive triggering luteinizing hormone — is found in the two biggest parts of your eye (macula and retina). It has strong antioxidant properties, and researchers believe it filters out the blue light we get from screens, protecting delicate eye tissues from UV damage. Studies are mixed, however, on whether or not supplementing lutein makes a difference in our eye health, and there are no clear ideal dosages. One 2021 meta-analysis suggests that at least 20mg of both lutein and zeaxanthin provided the best boost in macular health, which means that Focus Factor Brain & Vision’s 19mg is close to ideal.

Zeaxanthin, which makes things like paprika, corn, and saffron a potent orange-yellow, works alongside lutein to protect the macula from blue light. It also has notable antioxidant properties. One study from 2012 found that lutein and zeaxanthin may improve memory scores and learning speed in older women when combined with DHA, but much more research is necessary before we can draw any conclusions about their cognitive effects.

Besides these additions, Brain & Vision’s formula is identical to Focus Factor Original, including the proprietary blend (though Brain & Vision has 6mg less). Like Extra Strength and Max Strength, Brain & Vision only comes in a 120-tablet size for 30 servings and costs the same as Extra Strength:

One-time purchaseSubscribe & Save
Single bottle$39.99$35.99
Three pack$117.57$105.81
Six pack$230.34$207.31

If you’re focused more on the “health” aspect of Focus Factor’s “brain health” marketing rather than its potential nootropic properties, Focus Factor Brain & Vision is your best option. Few other cognitive health supplements are explicitly designed to support your eye health, though there are plenty of supplements dedicated to supporting your vision. Essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E and zinc are excellent for your eyes, and astaxanthin — which gives krill oil its classic red color — is a close cousin of zeaxanthin with similar health-promoting properties, though some researchers think it’s about ten times as powerful as lutein and zeaxanthin combined.

Focus Factor Gummies

Focus Factor Gummies

Photo by Innerbody Research

Our testers didn’t find the original tablets particularly large or difficult to swallow. But for those who would rather take a simple gummy, Focus Factor designed these easy-to-ingest alternatives.

There are three different kinds of Focus Factor gummies:

  • An original formula designed to mimic Focus Factor Original
  • Calm Focus Gummies (for stress and anxiety reduction)
  • Elderberry Immunity Gummies

At the time of writing, both Focus Factor Gummies and Elderberry Immunity Gummies were completely sold out, and we don’t know when (or if) either will be back in stock.

While gummies are more convenient than pills, they don’t contain the same number of nootropic ingredients, and the ingredients in the gummy’s blend are a bit less concentrated. Gummy vitamins are often inefficient — if not ineffective — at delivering nutrients, so you’re less likely to get as much out of them. It’s harder for your stomach to digest, let alone the 4g of added sugar, additional sucrose, maltose, glucose, and a long list of flavors and colors you wouldn’t be ingesting with a tablet or capsule.

Focus Factor Gummies boast phospholipids derived from sunflowers, which the original pills lack. All of your cells use phospholipids to build cell walls, and having more phospholipids means you have the material to make new cells. These may promote neural connections and plasticity as your brain can create new neurons and reroute existing ones in key areas like the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, allowing it to bounce back from stress more easily.

However, these gummies only contain 100mg of a cognitive proprietary blend with phospholipids, huperzine A, bacopa whole plant extract, and phosphatidylserine. Its vitamin and mineral list was also cut down to vitamins B6, C, D, and E, and it contains coconut, which makes it inaccessible for those with coconut or tree nut allergies. While it is vegan, these substantial changes make it dramatically less likely to be effective than traditional tablets.

While it isn’t a nootropic, Focus Factor’s Elderberry Immunity Gummies offer support for immune health with three main products known for having strong antioxidant properties. It includes:

  • Zinc: 10mg
  • Vitamin C: 100mg
  • Elderberry extract: 150mg

Elderberry is the interesting ingredient here. One prominent study saw a decrease in the duration and intensity of flu symptoms among participants who took elderberry extract. However, more extensive studies (including a recent analysis from 2022) tend to find no meaningful difference in the intensity of respiratory virus symptoms between those who took elderberry and the placebo group.

Like the Immunity gummies, Calm Focus gummies are not nootropics. Many gummies marketed for anxiety support include added ingredients like ashwagandha, L-theanine, and lemon balm, which are the center-stage ingredients here. Focus Factor uses Sensoril branded ashwagandha, which isn’t the strongest or most effective brand, and its dose is a little low (125mg compared to the average study’s 600mg). It has fewer allergens than any other product, but it isn’t a nootropic. Granted, ashwagandha and L-theanine both have excellent clinical evaluations for anxiety reduction (though more long-term studies on L-theanine’s efficacy are necessary). Lemon balm looks fantastic at the outset with significant reductions in both anxiety and depression without serious side effects across multiple different studies, but many of these studies are nearly identical, so that may not mean as much as we’d hope.

All Focus Factor gummies come in bundles, but rather than packs of one, three, or six bottles, the most you can get at one time is five bottles of any given gummy. Each bottle contains 60 gummies, which is 30 servings.

Focus Factor Kids

Focus Factor is one of the only nootropics that offers a formula specifically designed for children. Because our brains continue to develop until our mid-20s (though most of it wraps up in our teenage years), interfering with standard development by introducing a nootropic can get risky.

Because of this risk, Focus Factor’s Kids formula contains far fewer ingredients than the adult offerings. Where the adult blend contains 15 nootropics, the children’s blend only has four:

  • Bilberry
  • N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine
  • Inositol
  • Coenzyme Q10

The collection of vitamins and minerals Focus Factor puts in its Kids formula is also significantly smaller than what you’ll find in the adult tablets. It also has reduced quantities of each vitamin and mineral (shortened to vitamins B12, C, D3, E, phosphatidylcholine, and phosphatidylserine) to amounts more suitable for young bodies. All of these essential nutrients are present in appropriate doses.

The proprietary blend is more complex. All four ingredients are considered generally safe for children — bilberry fruit has no known side effects, and inositol and coenzyme Q10 are both vitamin-like — except for NALT. The biggest study on NALT as a potential treatment for ADHD in children was retracted in 2016 because the journal editors felt it had been conducted in an unsafe manner. (There’s no evidence NALT works for ADHD in adults, either.) There’s virtually no other research on giving L-tyrosine in any form to children, and because of its potential to lower thyroid hormone levels, it could be dangerous. Despite the fact that Focus Factor says its children’s formula is safe for kids aged four and older, it’s best to talk to your pediatrician before giving Focus Factor Kids Chewables to your child.

The supplement does not include fish as you’ll see in adult blends, and it’s also gluten- and dairy-free, but it still contains soy. Another significant difference between the Original and Kids formula is that the Kids tablets are chewable, making them much easier to consume. The berry flavor is enjoyable for kids without being too sweet, akin to the classic children’s Flinstones vitamins.

The Extra Strength kids formula is nearly identical to the regular kids’ formula but has double the amount of its nootropic blend (21mg vs 10.5mg) and twice as much phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylserine, which may give growing brains enough raw material to make more neuronal connections. As with the adult formula, we recommend starting with the regular strength to evaluate its performance before upgrading.

Here’s how much both versions cost:

Single bottleThree packSix pack
Kids Chewables (one-time)$24.99$73.50$143.99
Kids Chewables (subscription)$22.49$66.15$129.59
Extra Strength Kids Chewables (one-time)$29.99$88.50$173.99
Extra Strength Kids Chewables (subscription)$26.99$79.65$156.59

Interestingly, the Extra Strength formula only comes in bottles with 150 tablets, whereas the regular strength only comes in 120 tablet bottles. Ultimately, this doesn’t make much of a difference in the overall price per serving; Extra Strength Kids Chewables cost about a penny less per serving if you get a single bottle once, but Kids Chewables quickly outpace its extra strength counterpart when you consider bulk and subscription deals.

Focus Factor F29 Focus + Energy Shots

If you’re worried about having enough energy to make it through the day, the F29 Focus + Energy drinks are designed to give you a little pick-me-up. It’s closer to a 5 Hour Energy drink or sugar-free Monster energy drink than a nootropic supplement, as it comes in pre-mixed bottles and cans.

The Focus and Energy Drinks come in packs of four, 12, or 24 cans in a carbonated original (which customers describe as tasting a lot like original Red Bull), berry, or orange flavor. It doesn’t contain any nootropic ingredients, but instead include minimal amounts of:

  • Taurine
  • Guarana seed extract
  • Ginseng root extract
  • Inositol
  • Vitamin B3: 30mg
  • Vitamin B5: 7.5mg
  • Vitamin B6: 7.5mg
  • Vitamin B12: 6mcg

None of the non-vitamin ingredients have any doses listed (even as a proprietary blend), meaning it’s virtually impossible that there’s enough to make any kind of a difference in your energy or focus. Instead, most of that strength is going to come from the 120mg of caffeine and B vitamin complex.

The sugar-free energy shots include more familiar nootropics, vitamins, and nutrients:

  • Vitamin B3: 30mg
  • Vitamin B6: 40mg
  • Vitamin B12: 500mcg
  • N-acetyl L-tyrosine
  • Taurine
  • Glucuronolactone
  • Malic acid
  • Caffeine
  • Alpha-GPC
  • Bacopa monnieri extract
  • Huperzine A
  • Ginkgo biloba extract

If you want more of a cognitive enhancement effect, go for the energy shots. If you’re just looking for a quick energy boost, you can stick with the Focus + Energy Drink (though at $11.99 for a four-pack, it’s more expensive than Redbull or other energy drinks you can find at a supermarket without any notable benefits).

There are three kinds of energy shots, differentiated by a few factors:

Regular strengthExtra strengthPrice (six pack)
Caffeine content180mg200mg230mg
Proprietary blend dose1,880mg2,010mg2,150mg
FlavorMixed berryGrapeBlue razz

While there’s a slight difference between how much of the proprietary blend you’ll get in each shot, it’s unlikely that you’ll feel an immediate difference from the blend itself. You’re much more likely to feel a difference because of the high doses of caffeine. But the vitamin content is identical across all three.

Focus Factor Nootropics

As a new addition to the Focus Factor lineup, these supplements are specifically branded as nootropics, yet the line more closely resembles pre-workout supplements. Pre-workout supplements are exactly what they sound like — supplements you take before going to the gym to increase your energy, boost performance, and speed muscle healing after.

There are three formulas in the nootropics category:

  • Sports Pre-Workout drink mix (multi-serving powder tub)
  • Gaming drink mix (single-serving packets)
  • Pro Max (capsules)

Each product has its own proprietary blend (or, in the case of Sports Pre-Workout, two) and significantly fewer essential vitamins and minerals than Focus Factor Original. These supplements’ primary focus centers on the proprietary blends, but each have such a low overall dosage that you may not feel a difference, unless you’re looking at the caffeine content. Sports, Gaming, and Pro Max all have a significant amount of caffeine, which is a radical departure from Focus Factor’s other supplements.

The Gaming drink mix, for example, contains 125mg of caffeine. While we know caffeine is a potent nootropic, it also comes with a lot of side effects (just think about how you feel when you’ve drunk too much coffee). Of course, 125mg is a safe dose, roughly equivalent to a large cup of coffee or two shots of espresso. (Sports Pre-Workout has the most at 160mg of caffeine, which is about two cups of coffee’s worth.) However, most of these blends lean heavily on caffeine to help wake you up and get you going. The Gaming blend does include the same lutein and zeaxanthin as the Brain & Vision formula, which is a shame, since that can support eye health when you’re staring at a TV or computer screen for hours at a time.

Sports Pre-Workout has two proprietary blends:

Energy and Endurance Blend (2,335mg)

Beta-alanine, L-citrulline, caffeine, L-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate, acetyl L-carnitine, L-glutamine.

Focus and Concentration Blend (560mg)

L-theanine, N-acetyl L-tyrosine, Ginkgo biloba extract, DMAE bitartrate, organic Lion’s Mane.

This is decent for a pre-workout, and is relatively comparable to other pre-workout supplements. And Pro Max capsules sit somewhere between Focus Factor Original and the Gaming powder mix. It includes, in 322mg of its Balance blend:

  • Ginkgo biloba extract
  • Caffeine
  • Bacopa monnieri extract
  • Lion’s Mane mushroom
  • DMAE bitartrate
  • Green tea extract
  • Phosphatidylserine

Considering there are 80mg of caffeine in this blend, we’re left with a mere 242mg of the blend across the other ingredients. This means it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll feel much more than you would after a cup of coffee.

It also has an extremely large amount of vitamin B12 (2,500mcg, or about 104,000 times your recommended daily intake), and less than your recommended daily value of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, and B9. If you already take a B complex vitamin and drink coffee or several cups of tea, you may not feel anything at all.

Pro Max is unique among the branded Focus Factor Nootropics because it comes in capsules; there are 60 capsules (30 servings) per bottle. Meanwhile, the Sports Pre-Workout comes in a 20-serving tub, though you’ll have to scoop and measure each serving of the powdered mix yourself. The Gaming powder is a little more convenient, as it comes pre-measured in individual serving-sized packets. You can subscribe and bundle each of these three products, but prices start at $29.99 for a single one-time purchase of Pro Max and Gaming powder or $39.99 for Sports Pre-Workout. Considering what you get, this is more spendy than we’d expect.

Pricing, payments, and shipping

Since there are so many different Focus Factor products, how much you’ll pay varies depending on what product you choose. It also depends on whether or not you subscribe and if you bundle your choice with other products.

For example, Focus Factor Original comes in four sizes (60, 90, 150, and 180 tablets), and you can purchase it in sets of one, three, or six bottles. You can also purchase any combination once or join the company’s subscription program for regular deliveries every 30 days (and 10% off).

Here’s a quick chart to illustrate your savings potential for Focus Factor Original:

One bottleThree packSix pack
60 tablets (15 servings), one time$14.99$43.50$83.99
60 tablets (15 servings), subscription$13.49$39.15$75.99
90 tablets (22 servings), one time$29.99$88.50$173.99
90 tablets (22 servings), subscription$26.99$79.65$156.59
150 tablets (37 servings), one time$21.99$62.67$118.75
150 tablets (37 servings), subscription$19.79$56.40$106.88
180 tablets (45 servings), one time$24.99$70.50$137.99
180 tablets (45 servings), subscription$22.49$63.45$124.19

A 90-count bottle of Focus Factor is more expensive than a bottle with 150 or 180 tablets. If you know you like Focus Factor (or don’t want to have to purchase it again in two weeks), we’d recommend opting for a larger bottle. That said, even the most expensive option is cheaper than several other competing nootropics.

Since our last review, Focus Factor has started offering free shipping. This is only available for orders in the U.S. for over $50, so you’ll need to get at least a three-pack of a bottle with 90 or more tablets (or a six-pack of 60 tablets) to be eligible, but we are glad to see this new inclusion that many competitors offer.

Even when shipping isn’t free, it’s still fast. The standard 5-7 day shipping for $6.95 arrived on our testers’ doorsteps within four days. You can also opt for priority shipping (1-3 days) for

$14.95. If you live outside the U.S., international shipping is also $14.95, but it’ll take up to four weeks to arrive, depending on your location.

Focus Factor accepts major credit cards, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and PayPal. Because it’s a supplement and not medication, you won’t be able to use HSA or FSA funds, nor can you get a reimbursement through your health insurance.

One of Focus Factor’s biggest drawbacks is that the company doesn't accept refunds or returns. The only exception to this is if you receive a faulty product or something you didn’t order, but you’ll need to contact the company within seven days in order for them to process this refund (and you’ll still have to pay for shipping both ways). If you decide you don’t want the supplement or try it and don’t like it, you’re out of luck. This is very disappointing, as a vast majority of nootropic companies will at least allow you to return an unopened bottle.

Insider Tip: Since Focus Factor won’t accept returns or refunds, start with the smallest bottle on your first time. You can always change your subscription or order more if you like it, but this way, you won’t lose as much money if you don’t like it.

Brain Hub app

Focus Factor launched an app toward the end of 2020 to accompany your supplements. It gamifies a way to track your progress by letting you play daily games that test your thinking skills, memory recall, and focus. It also provides breathing exercises, guided meditations, audiobooks, and mood tracking, so you can see how the supplement affects you over time.

Unfortunately, the Brain Hub app is an additional cost. You can make your purchase in one of three tiers:

  • Monthly plan: $17.49/month
  • Yearly plan: $59.99/year (saves you $149.89)
  • Lifetime plan: $299.99 billed once

The lifetime plan is the best deal if you use the app regularly for many years, but the yearly plan savings are also significant.

Insider Tip: Not sure you want to commit to the app? Brain Hub offers a free week-long trial. You’ll have to select a payment plan, but if you cancel at least 24 hours before your trial ends, you won’t be charged at all. Cancel as soon as you make your account; you won’t have to worry about forgetting, and you’ll still have access to the app until the end of the trial.

The app is pretty clearly designed to be a tie-in to Focus Factor’s supplements; the final tab in the app takes you directly to Focus Factor’s product page, where you can order more supplements. It’s not something we’d recommend you just pick up and play (there are better equivalents for free elsewhere), but if you’re interested in quickly and cleanly tracking your progress, this is a decent option because of its journaling efforts and some experimental game-like tests.

Immediately, the app asks what your major goals are for improving your brain; these answers determine which categories of games it pulls from for your three daily training exercises, though few are represented in the training categories available. You can choose from:

  • Improve skills
  • Be more focused
  • Improve memory
  • Reduce stress
  • Build confidence
  • Enhance self-awareness
  • Sleep better


Brain Hub’s program includes three short games as your daily training exercises. You can browse its training library at any time to play any of the games outside of your training schedule. If you have fun playing a game, you can continue to play to increase your score and repeatedly practice throughout the day, but further difficulty levels only unlock every 24 hours.

Even with a paid subscription, our testers found that the app would often lock up, preventing them from being able to play any games. At best, we would receive a pop-up notification that said “wait a moment.” However, waiting did nothing. More often, we would tap an icon to play a game with zero response or recognition. This is frustrating, to say the least, and seriously deteriorated our thoughts on the app.

The app divides training exercises into five categories, with different games in each.

Focus factor game


Focus games test your ability to keep your attention on a given object or see through a complex pattern to recognize a particular aspect of a scene. For example, you might have to identify the text color in an image (such as the example above), or you might have to identify the text “meaning” color, which is what the word says, and not what color its letters are. (This is related to the experimental Stroop Color and Word Test, which measures your attention and processing speed.) It can get hairy pretty fast.


Memory games are among those that most closely resemble the tests scientists will administer in clinical trials that evaluate the performance of Focus Factor and its ingredients. These games require rapid absorption of information, spatial and word recall, and visual memory. You might be asked to remember the direction a set of blocks is facing like an SAT test question, for example.


Math games involve identifying matches among various fractional representations like ⅓ and $0.33 out of $1. The rest are thinly veiled calculation exercises with limited imagination behind them.


Brain Hub’s problem-solving games mostly rely on spatial reasoning and the development of basic patterns to find solutions. Anyone who enjoys games like Tetris or Sudoku will find these familiar and engaging. Our testers’ favorite in this category was unanimously the Hoops game, an algorithmic mashup between Pac-man and basketball.


The language games on the Brain Hub app will challenge you to create multiple words from a jumble of letters (like Boggle), identify antonyms in an unusual setting, and find ideal words missing from passages.

Of the five categories, we found that only two categories — Focus and Problem-solving — had games that were engaging and enjoyable when we could play them. Language games, for example, introduced too much subjectivity and were either too intelligent or not intelligent enough to accommodate all users. The Articulation game had answers that seemed arbitrary. “Beat” was an unacceptable replacement for “drained” to describe oneself as tired, but “knackered,” a British slang term, was accepted. And our testers found the Connections game to be far too advanced at the introductory levels and likely to turn players off too early.

Here’s an example of the Connections game’s difficulty:

Focus factor game connections

Some of the language and memory games involved a keyboard, which posed uniquely annoying problems. The app does not utilize your phone’s native keyboard, which immediately puts you at a disadvantage. We train ourselves to the placement and sensitivity of letters on our phone’s keyboard, and the Brain Hub keyboard is a less responsive, smaller, and more spread-out interface. Our male testers, whose thumbs tended to be larger, found themselves struggling to input answers promptly.

Meditation and breathing

Brain Hub offers breathing exercises and daily meditations on various topics, including ones that teach you how to meditate, mindfulness meditation techniques, and vagus nerve stimulation. Vagus nerve stimulation can improve its tone through things like breathing exercises. This concept has grown popular in recent years based on the vagus nerve’s role in activating the parasympathetic nervous system, cooling a fight-or-flight response. Some research supports this theory, but there’s still a lot yet to be uncovered.

You can choose either a male or female voice to guide you through your meditation. Sessions usually last between eight and ten minutes, so you can squeeze them in on a lunch break if you’re determined to relax. Brain Hub will prompt you to listen to a daily meditation of its choice, or you can scroll through its library of available sessions to find others you like. The library is broken down by theme, including:

  • Focus
  • Calm
  • Anxiety
  • Peace
  • Stress
  • Emotions
  • Sleep
  • For Beginners

The library also includes informational recordings about the nature of sleep and other useful topics.

There’s no backing track — like music, white noise, drones, or nature sounds — behind the meditation teaching voice actors. What we’d like to see more in the meditations is a background track for the voice actors. Testers without noise-canceling headphones found it difficult to concentrate when they tried to meditate, even in a moderately noisy environment (like the corner of their office on a lunch break).

Our testers found that the breathing exercises are simpler, less time-consuming, and frankly more enjoyable than the meditations. You simply set a timer for a breathing session, which can be as short as one minute or as long as an hour. A visual cue on the screen guides you through breathing in and out at a regular pace, and you can set the length of the breaths to match your comfort level. The downside to these exercises is that there’s no audio component, so you have to keep your eyes open and monitoring your screen the entire time. An optional accompanying track to guide your inhales and exhales would allow for extra relaxation and centering away from the stressful sensory inputs of everyday life.


Recently, Brain Hub added a small library full of short-form audiobooks. This partnership with the audiobook app Blinkist provides 10- to 30-minute snippets of popular self-help books and inspirational biographies. As of time of writing, this library includes:

  • Essentialism by Greg McKeown
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
  • The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma
  • Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport
  • Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  • Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
  • 10% Happier by Dan Harris
  • The Body Keeps the Score by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenace by Robert M. Pirsig
  • You’re Not Listening by Kate Murphy
  • The Elephant in the Brain by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson
  • Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
  • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harai
  • The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did) by Philippa Perry
  • Open by Andre Agassi
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama

These audiobooks are narrated by one reader (whom you can’t choose, unlike meditation coaches), and are generally decent quality. Like meditation sessions, you can access these snippets even if you don’t have an active Brain Hub subscription, which is a nice plus. You can also favorite titles you want to listen to and curate your own personal reading list, even as you’re picking from a limited selection. (The Blinkist app, for example, has over 5,500 titles compared to Brain Hub’s 20.)

Even if Brain Hub’s samples are limited, very few brain coaching apps have audiobooks. If you’ve been meaning to check out a popular self-help title, this short selection can give you more insight as to whether or not you’d like to listen to the full audiobook elsewhere than just reading the Wikipedia page.

Alternatives to Focus Factor

It can be a little difficult to pin down exactly what Focus Factor is or does. Its Original formula is marketed as a brain health supplement, but its ingredients reflect a multivitamin more than a classic nootropic. Its energy drinks aren’t exactly nootropic, either, giving you energy mostly through caffeine. In order to really understand Focus Factor’s goals, we’ll need to compare them with supplements and other products that center on one aspect of Focus Factor’s catalog.

We identified three major goals of Focus Factor’s catalog: improving brain health, improving cognition, and improving energy levels. Below we’ll compare Focus Factor’s products to nootropics, multivitamins, and energy drinks that closely align with Focus Factor, though you can also find comparable alternatives to Focus Factor products in pre-workout supplements and vision-specific supplements.


Nootropics come in two primary categories: generalized nootropics, which are designed to upgrade your total brain function, and focused nootropics, which are intended to improve one specific aspect of your cognition (such as your attention span or recall abilities). Most nootropics on the market right now are generalized supplements, including Focus Factor. Generalized nootropics aren’t always as effective because of their spaghetti-at-the-wall strategy for improving your brain, but this type can still help those who are looking for a broad-spectrum boost. You can read more in our guide to the best nootropics, but we’ll compare Focus Factor more directly below.

A generalized nootropic company that’s similar to Focus Factor is BrainMD, who sells over 60 different nootropic supplements. These range from a brain-boosted multivitamin like Focus Factor Original to plant-based protein bars and probiotics. The company offers a wider range of supplements (and other health products) than Focus Factor, but it’s much more expensive without much more proof that it works. BrainMD’s Brain & Body Power, for example, is a combined multivitamin, omega-3 supplement, and minor nootropic with dozens of ingredients, such as:

  • Phosphatidylserine
  • Alpha-lipoic acid
  • Ginkgo biloba extract
  • Huperzine A
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Vitamin K2
  • Choline
  • Calcium
  • Iodine
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Manganese
  • Chromium
  • Molybdenum
  • Boron
  • Silicon
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Resveratrol
  • Pterostilbene
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Digestive enzymes

You’ll have to take eight capsules in two different packets daily with food, and while you can save 15% through its subscription program, a one-time purchase of 45 servings costs $104.95. Focus Factor Original doesn’t have quite the same vitamin and mineral power, but is relatively close to Brain & Body Power’s ingredients and only costs $24.99 for 45 servings. You’ll get free shipping for this product with BrainMD, but that isn’t enough to make up the $80 difference.

On the other hand, focused nootropics like Thesis have a poignant role to play in the industry. You can choose from six different formulas through Thesis, but you don’t have to make a decision up front as the company gives you four different formulas to sample when you first get started based on some personal quiz results. These formulas focus on different parts of your cognition:

  • Logic
  • Clarity
  • Confidence
  • Creativity
  • Motivation
  • Energy

Every formula has a short ingredient list and potent doses that are cumulatively several times larger than Focus Factor Original’s proprietary blend. But, no matter what you order from Thesis, one month (30 servings) costs $119 without a subscription (or $79 if subscribed). Considering Focus Factor only costs a fraction of that price, if you’re looking for something to improve your health longer-term, Focus Factor might be a better option. But if you want something fast and effective for short-term focus or energy, Thesis may work more efficiently for you.

Focus Factor vs. Prevagen

As one of the nootropics you’re most likely to find at your local pharmacy or health food store, Prevagen draws some particular interest. Prevagen is specifically focused on aging-related memory loss and features apoaequorin, a protein from bioluminescent jellyfish that binds to calcium. Having too much calcium in your brain can lead to extraneous neuron death, which some researchers think is related to Alzheimer’s disease. However, unlike Focus Factor’s self-funded study, a study funded by Prevagen’s parent company doesn’t show much clinical efficacy. It’s also much less safe for people with multiple sclerosis (MS), as heightened rates of hypotension, depression, and suicidal ideation seem to be exclusively found within MS patients.

Prevagen won’t work for most people. We don’t generally recommend it, as the science just isn’t there to support apoaequorin’s role in supporting the memory and neuronal health of older adults, and Prevagen’s only ingredients are apoaequorin and a small dose of vitamin D. For younger adults trying to boost productivity or care for their brains, Prevagen still won’t be a good option.


Considering Focus Factor’s heavy emphasis on essential nutrients (and recent de-emphasis on the nootropic aspects of Focus Factor Original), there are some cases in which a multivitamin might be a better option for you than Focus Factor. This is especially true if you’re looking to support cellular energy and overall brain health rather than boosting your energy for a few hours a day. You can read about our favorite men’s multivitamins in this guide, but we’ll compare Focus Factor in a little more detail below.

You can get a decent multivitamin from any pharmacy at a low cost, but some of our favorite multivitamins come from online companies like Ritual. Ritual offers a few different multivitamins depending on your age and gender, including kid’s and teen’s vitamins. Unlike Focus Factor, all Ritual vitamins cost either $33 or $39 (pre- and post-natal vitamins cost more, as well as those for 55+). Gender and age makes a big difference when it’s time to pick a multivitamin, as things like menstrual cycles affect how much iron pre-menopausal women need, for example. However, Ritual keeps its ingredients lists slim, especially compared to Focus Factor’s heavy hand. For instance, Ritual’s Men’s 18+ Multivitamin includes:

  • Vitamin A: 180mcg
  • Vitamin B9: 200mcg
  • Vitamin B12: 8mcg
  • Vitamin D3 (vegan): 50mcg/2,000IU
  • Vitamin E: 6.7mg
  • Vitamin K2: 90mcg
  • Magnesium: 30mg
  • Zinc: 2.4mg
  • Boron: 0.7mg
  • Omega-3 DHA (vegan): 330mg

Focus Factor Original contains almost ten times more of all of these ingredients, except for vitamin D, which it has 20 times less of, and vitamin K2, which it doesn’t contain at all. We also don’t know how much boron or omega-3 DHA Focus Factor Original contains as part of the proprietary blend. On a vitamin level alone, however, Focus Factor Original casts a wider net and includes its proprietary blend of nootropic ingredients, which isn’t featured in any multivitamins.

Purchasing your multivitamins from Target, Amazon, or your local pharmacy can lead to good outcomes, too. Most big-name multivitamins from brands like Nature Made, Centrum, or One-a-Day are typically about as expensive as Focus Factor and provide equally strong doses of essential vitamins and minerals. However, Focus Factor has the added bonus of its proprietary blend, so while we don’t recommend mixing a multivitamin and Focus Factor, if you’re interested in supporting your brain health with a low-dose nootropic, Focus Factor could be a good option for you.

Energy drinks

Neither of Focus Factor’s F29 energy drinks nor shots are supplements in the same vein as Focus Factor Original, but the products also don’t align with things like TruBrain’s nootropic drinks, which are thick smoothie-like nootropics in a squeeze pouch. Nor are the energy drinks and shots similar to energy-boosting supplements or pre-workout supplements. Instead, the focus in F29 is on its energy-promoting qualities, which draws a quick comparison between them and traditional energy drinks.

Many customers compare the Focus and Energy Drinks to classic Red Bull, both in flavor and in function. However, the major difference is that the Focus and Energy Drinks have zero sugar, whereas one can of classic Red Bull contains 27g of added sugar, which is more than half of your daily recommended dose. Focus and Energy Drinks also have more than twice the amount of B vitamins, but they also have slightly more sodium. It’s easier to find Red Bull in just about any vending machine, and Focus Factor is significantly more expensive, but Focus Factor’s energy drinks are better for your health.

Likewise, Focus Factor’s F29 Focus + Energy Shots are easy to compare to liquid energy shots like 5-Hour Energy. In fact, these shots are almost exactly the same as 5-Hour Energy; the regular strength F29 shots are identical to a bottle of standard 5-Hour Energy down to the flavor, though F29 has 10mg more of the energizing proprietary blend, 20mg less caffeine, and costs $1 less for a six-pack. However, you’ll be able to find a 5-Hour Energy in any gas station or grocery store, whereas you can only order Focus Factor online. Ultimately, there’s little difference between the two, and neither are great for your health long-term.

FAQ about Focus Factor



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